Today’s Awesome Thing is: Iron Bridge, Wales, United Kingdom
Why I think It’s Awesome: Iron Bridge, Wales, is home to the world’s first bridge made of iron. I got to see it in person back in 2005, when I was studying at Oxford. The bridge itself is rather lovely, and in context, it’s awe-inspring. It also makes me laugh, because someone in Atlas Shrugged (Hank Rearden?) makes a comment about how you wouldn’t build an iron bridge the same way that you would a wooden one. Well, this particular bridge is made the same way you would a wooden bridge. That’s because people didn’t really know the structural properties of iron when this bridge was built. As a result, they over-built it. However, it turns out that this was a good thing, as the supports for the bridge have moved significantly in the 200+ years since it was built. If it had been constructed the way that we build iron (steel) bridges now, it would have fallen to pieces long ago.
The view from the middle is also quite breathtaking: